DIY: Natural Repellent Recipes

  Summer is here and with it the irresistible urge to bask in outdoor glory. We want to feel the warm earth on our feet and sunshine on our shoulders. We go on camping trips, forest hikes, long bike rides, and enjoy berry picking, barbecues, picnics, and live music. Until the buzzing begins…     Keep those pesky blood suckers away and enjoy your time outside with these two natural herbal repellent formulas. The first recipe is a spray with a flower water base and the second recipe uses oil for a longer lasting solution.  Both contain a secret herbal ingredient that makes them potent: catnip!  The essential oil found in catnip has been scientifically proven to be just as effective as commercial chemical repellents, without the nasty side effects from toxins like DEET. You can make these with catnip essential […]

New in the Shop: Arnica/St. John’s Compound

  Summer is upon us, and our long days are filled with epic hikes, river runs, and scrambling up the volcanic peaks of the Oregon Cascades. After a long day of adventuring out in nature, we are happy to have our Arnica/St. John’s Compound for sore muscles and minor irritations. Our Arnica/St. John’s Compound is made with the classic and much beloved Arnica/St. John’s Herbal Oil. We lovingly infuse the botanical goodness of St. John’s wort, arnica flowers, and calendula flowers into organic olive oil and combine it with beeswax to create a topical salve that is a favorite among runners, hikers, climbers, paddlers, and athletes of all stripes. A little organic lavender essential oil in the formula helps to provide a bit of calm […]

Is Your Garden Pesticide-Free?

  The shocking death of 50,000 bumblebees in a Wilsonville, Oregon shopping center back in 2013 catalyzed a worldwide conversation about bee health and pesticides. The incident happened after the bees visited trees treated by a private arborist company with neonicotinoid pesticides. Photos of bees littering the asphalt were featured on the cover of Time magazine, in the LA Times, and covered in The Huffington Post to mention a few, and brought the previously arcane topic of neonicotinoids into millions of American households. Two years later, making lemonade out of lemons, The Northwest Center for Alternatives to Pesticides recognizes that this notorious incident uniquely positions the City of Wilsonville and committed partners to exercise national leadership in demonstrating achievable ways to assist pollinators within urban […]

DIY Soda Pop: Root Beer Syrup

  Okay, I’ll admit that I still occasionally crave the sweet, bubbly flavors of my favorite childhood sodas. Typically these cravings happen during special moments of postcard-like perfection, when for some reason, my taste buds feel the need to celebrate. Summer is ripe with these moments, and now I’ve got an amazing herbal solution… Homemade Root Beer Syrup!     If you're on the hunt for a natural soda recipe, you probably already know the benefits of avoiding all those sparkling cans and bottles of pop. Generally packed with more sugar than anyone needs in an entire day and lots of strange artificial ingredients, these formerly botanical-based soft drinks are no longer so easy to enjoy. Thankfully, bringing the old-timey flavors back is as simple as making tea.  Also, this recipe uses honey rather than white […]

New in the Shop: Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Powder

  For many moons, our loyal customers have been dreaming about Organic Roasted Dandelion Root Powder, and we are happy to report that it is finally here! Dandelion is an amazing plant that has been used for thousands of years in China as a restorative tonic, edible food, and in herbal wines and beers. Dandelion root is a favorite amongst traditional herbalists as a nutritive bitter. The plant’s genus, Taraxacum, is derived from the Greek words “taraxos” meaning disorder and “akos” meaning remedy, which is a not-so-subtle reference to the high opinion ancient Greek healers held for this herb. Dandelion was also widely used by the indigenous cultures of North America where it grows prolifically. Our Roasted Dandelion Root Powder starts as […]

Northwest Farm Stories: Growing Goldenseal & Ginseng

  A few weeks ago, I visited one of our Northwest growers to check in on a new project we began last year. He has been supplying us with sustainably grown and harvested organic goldenseal root for years, and we both felt it was time to get some ginseng in the ground. Both goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis) and American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) are slow-growing, shade-loving plants. Due to their popularity, they have been over-harvested in their native habitat and are now considered “at risk” of endangerment. To maintain the wild stands and still supply potent plants without the use of pesticides, we continue to initiate cultivation projects for these and other plant populations that are under pressure.     Walking toward the fields, I could see the dark green of goldenseal bursting […]

Summer Essential: Arnica & St. John’s Herbal Oil

  The sun is shining and the weather is sweet here in the Willamette Valley. Throughout the rainy season, we spent days dreaming up excursions to explore the coast, rivers, and mountains of Cascadia, and it is finally time to put these plans into motion!  Our new Arnica & St. John’s oil is an excellent addition to our rucksacks, and the perfect topical application after a long day of exerting our bodies. This concentrated herbal oil features certified organic arnica flowers, St. John’s wort, and calendula flowers lovingly infused into organic olive oil. With just the right amount of organic Lavender essential oil, this blend has a wonderfully calming aroma. This topical oil is concentrated, so a little goes a long way! We […]